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Penne With Wilted Rocket And Salami

Every ingredient in this sumptuous pasta dish has a unique essence, culminating in a flavour-rich and nutritiously rewarding meal.

With undeniable hints of the Mediterranean, this recipe leverages high-quality ingredients from your favourite online grocer. Begin with robust salami or vibrant chorizo, richly infused with herbs, spices, and a touch of garlic, meticulously dried to perfection to amplify their flavours.

Experience the complex layers of taste with the salty zest of capers, the creamy tang of goat’s cheese, the bold peppery splash of rocket, and the grounding piquancy of black pepper. Adding garlic weaves in an extra layer of depth, making this dish a tapestry of flavours.

Crafting the Perfect Pasta Dish

Achieving Al Dente Perfection: To guarantee your penne is ideally ‘al dente,’ bring a large pot of salted water to a vigorous boil before adding the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Test the pasta a minute before the recommended cooking time for that delightful bite—a firm yet tender texture.

Expert Tips for Wilted Rocket: For a rocket that is just wilted yet still vibrant, toss it into the pan just as you remove it from the heat. The residual warmth will soften the leaves slightly without sapping them of their lively flavour and nutritional value, maintaining their crisp texture and rich colour.

Balancing Robust Flavours: To master the pungency of garlic without it overwhelming the dish, add it towards the end of your sauté, allowing it to cook just enough to mellow its bite but not so much that it becomes bitter. Pair the right type of salami or chorizo to match your flavour preference—opt for milder versions if you’re sensitive to spice, or go bold with heavily seasoned varieties for an extra kick.

Nutritional Insights: A Closer Look at What’s on Your Plate

Understanding the nutritional benefits of each ingredient can highlight why this dish is a healthy choice:

Pasta: Provides complex carbohydrates and protein, essential for sustained energy and satiety. A serving of penne (about 2 cups cooked) contains approximately 200 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fibre.

Rocket: Packed with vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium and magnesium. One cup of rocket has about 5 calories, making it a nutrient-dense addition.

Garlic: Known for its immune-boosting properties, garlic also benefits heart health. It can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Goat’s Cheese: Rich in calcium, crucial for bone health, and provides healthy fats and protein. A 1-ounce serving of goat cheese has about 75 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein.

Salami/Chorizo: While high in protein, these meats should be consumed in moderation due to their sodium content. They add significant flavour, allowing you to use smaller quantities.

Delving into the origins of the ingredients can deepen appreciation for this dish:

Salami and Chorizo: These cured meats have a rich history in Mediterranean cuisine. Salami, originating from Italy, is traditionally seasoned with garlic, salt, and spices and air-dried to develop its unique flavour. Chorizo, a Spanish and Portuguese cooking staple, is known for its smoky paprika seasoning and often spicy kick.

Rocket (Arugula): In Italian cuisine, rocket is a famous leafy green, often used in salads, pastas, and pizzas for its distinctive peppery taste. It’s known as “rucola” in Italy and has been a part of Mediterranean diets for centuries, valued for its robust flavour and nutritional benefits.

Capers: Frequently used in Mediterranean dishes, capers add a burst of salty, tangy flavour. They are the pickled flower buds of the caper bush, native to the Mediterranean region, and are cherished for elevating the flavours of other ingredients.

Penne With Wilted Rocket And Salami



  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the salami and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until crisp. Add the capers and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rocket and toss until wilted, then remove from the heat. Toss the salami and rocket mixture through the pasta and place in serving bowls.
  3. Top with goat's cheese and pepper.


Serves 4.

Variations and Substitutions

To cater to different dietary needs or preferences, consider these variations:

Vegetarian Option: Substitute the salami or chorizo with smoked tempeh or sautéed mushrooms. Smoked tempeh provides a similar smoky flavour and firm texture. At the same time, a mix of mushrooms (like shiitake and portobello) adds a rich, umami depth.

Low-Fat Alternative: Replace goat’s cheese with a low-fat ricotta or feta. Both options still offer creaminess and tang without the higher fat content of goat’s cheese.

Gluten-Free Pasta: Use gluten-free penne made from rice, quinoa, or chickpeas. These alternatives maintain the dish’s heartiness while catering to gluten sensitivities.

Pairing Suggestions

Enhance your meal with these perfect pairings:

Wines: A glass of Chianti or Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with the dish’s salty and spicy notes. For non-alcoholic options, sparkling water with a splash of lemon or a chilled herbal tea can be refreshing.

Side Dishes: Consider serving the pasta with a fresh Mediterranean salad featuring cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and a light vinaigrette. Another great side is garlic bread or bruschetta, which complements the pasta’s flavours and adds a satisfying crunch.

Get that Mediterranean vibe with grocery delivery in Melbourne

If you’re feeling a longing for Mediterranean cuisine, know that you can source typical ingredients like the salami or chorizo and goat’s cheese used in this dish in your online food shopping order.

Choose the easiest, most convenient option and start shopping online with Local Food Market Co. Our site brings together a host of local food retailers, so start browsing and filling your cart with the best quality produce you can find.

Not only will you find what you need to recreate those fantastic Mediterranean holidays in your kitchen, but you’ll also be able to stock up on essentials. Shop now at our grocery market store and find all your everyday and out-of-the-ordinary items in one convenient place.